The last blow
The Neocore Games action RPG saga returns with an improved edition, free for those who already own the trilogy
When it made its Steam debut in 2013, The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing found itself chronologically in a position of advantage over the genre of action RPGs, and managed to exploit this situation to the fullest, achieving great success despite its nature as an independent project. On the one hand the affordable price, on the other the richness of the campaign, together with a funny and fascinating script, have laid the foundations for a trilogy that only with the last chapter has disappointed expectations a little, giving the feeling that something had gone wrong in development and that the authors had wanted to close everything hastily. The release of this Final Cut, which includes all three episodes in a single edition, improved in various respects, therefore represents a sort of fine against users who have trusted the series from the beginning, and who do not case they will be rewarded with the possibility to download the package for free if they already have the three chapters.
The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing: Final Cut is a long adventure that engages and excites
In the vision of Neocore Games, The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing: Final Cut stands as a single, long adventure that includes the three episodes published between 2013 and 2015. To realize this type of solution, the developers have introduced six different classes that can be selected immediately for our character, modified the enhancement system, inventory management and the multifaceted loot and crafting system to give it coherence, even at the expense of immediacy and practicality. In the story, Van Helsing is the son of the vampire hunter of the same name, determined to keep up his good family name and committed to facing the most disparate creatures of the night: from rat-men to spirits, from trolls to harpies, passing through all a series of more or less impressive opponents, more or less dangerous and with a unique repertoire. Accompanied by the inseparable Lady Katarina, a ghostly lady with long claws, an excellent battle companion, Van Helsing finds himself dealing with a city besieged by monsters and decides to help its inhabitants, to then join a small army of rebels united under the same cause: eradicating evil from the kingdom of Borgovia. However, this is only a portion of the story, which proceeds trying to engage users thanks to a script at times brilliant between quotes and jokes, convincingly recited by Alex Warner, Michelle Sparks and Tim Simmons.
As mentioned above, from the beginning of the game it is possible to create your own Van Helsing by choosing between six different classes, which are actually those seen in the third installment of the series. The Hunter, an agile and deadly figure, equipped with long-range weapons and a projection system that can distract enemies and cause them to fall into a trap. The Builder, armed to the teeth and capable of controlling assault turrets that follow him into battle to create devastating bursts of fire for enemies.
The Elementalist, a mage who is able to harness the power of the elements to hit his targets from a distance, but with limited physical resistance. The Protector, an imposing knight in armor who with his sword and shield manages to tear apart dozens and dozens of monsters, somewhat representing the tank of the situation. The Phlogistonist, who moves inside an exoskeleton and specializes in the use of grenades and chemical weapons. And finally, the Shadowmaster, who can hide from enemies until it’s too late for them, attacking them with a pair of ice blades and a whole host of special abilities. We had some doubts about the balance and therefore the greater or lesser effectiveness of one class or the other, but the new level cap set at one hundred implies in all cases a slower progression and some extra difficulty when arriving at the advanced stages of each chapter without having made the most of the equipment. The skill tree is easily accessible and allows you to assign a whole series of maneuvers to the various keys (even the controller, perfectly supported), but even here it is not always easy to understand which path to take. and what aspects can be neglected depending on the type of character we have. Fortunately, after a few missions, it becomes possible to reset the statistics and therefore take any precautions.
In addition to the classes, the increased level cap and the changes made to the skill tree, The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing: Final Cut also introduces other new features, some of which are completely new.
Someone will have already seen the tower defense mode, which returns in this case from the first chapter and allows us to face maps that are assaulted by endless waves of enemies, to be eliminated by placing traps and turrets, but also by acting in first person against their advance. Then there are the multiplayer modes, first of all the cooperative one for four participants, which allows you to enjoy the experience in a more engaging way and to coordinate your actions to defeat even the most consistent gatherings of monsters; but also the competitive ones for up to eight participants, perhaps not very successful but certainly able to offer a few extra hours of entertainment for those who want to experiment with the mechanics. Last but not least, a brand new section has been added to the many missions of the single player campaign with random quests, daily challenges and eventsideal for carrying out a little grinding and quickly raising the level of our character, so as to be able to better face the threats of the advanced stages, when the enemies are so many and damn tough, and at low experience levels it seems that ours arms tickle him.
PC System Requirements
- Processor: AMD FX 8320
- Video card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970 Jetstream
- Memory: 8 GB of RAM
- Operating system: Windows 10
- Processor: 2 GHz dual core
- Video card: NVIDIA GeForce 8800, AMD Radeon HD 4000, Intel HD 4000
- Memory: 2 GB of RAM
- Hard disk: 40 GB of space required
- Operating system: Windows XP SP3, Windows 7, Windows 8
- Processor: 2.5 GHz quad core
- Video card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 560, AMD Radeon HD 5800
- Memory: 4 GB of RAM
- Hard disk: 40 GB of space required
- Operating system: Windows 7, Windows 8 – 64 bit
Depending on whether you proceed quickly or let yourself be fascinated by the secrets present in each location, exploring every nook and cranny in search of hidden chests and any threats to be eradicated, The Incredible Adventures of Van Helsing: Final Cut can last from thirty to forty-five hours. Among the strengths of this all-encompassing edition there is certainly the evolution, albeit marginal, that can be observed in passing from one chapter to another, in particular with the introduction of new types of monsters to face.
On the gameplay front, the presence of the six classes available immediately offers an interesting reinterpretation of the adventure, in particular of the first two parts, and opens up to a certain degree of replayability, also allowed by the ability to create and carry out several classes at the same time, since there are specific quests for each of them. It is a pity that in some situations the action ends up revealing the simplicity of its formula a little too clearly, but we appreciated once again the choice of limiting the number of opponents per scenario: if you kill them all, you will not find them again. then waiting for you on the next visit. In this regard, the inevitable backtracking is coupled with a noticeable recycle of stages in the perspective of the trilogy, but it is a factor to be taken into account when confronted with this type of production. Different is the discourse of the combat system and the yield of the impacts, which unfortunately have remained unchanged and tend to give little satisfaction, if not in the most striking and spectacular manifestations of our powers. Technically the game feels the weight of the years, but some uncertainties have been resolved (the game always runs very smoothly, at 1080p and with all effects at maximum) and the developers have at least managed to use the assets in an intelligent way, so as to avoid propose anonymous, bare or excessively repetitive scenarios. Too bad for the musical accompaniment, well done and atmospheric, but which becomes monotonous after a few hours.